Cinematography Analysis – Platinum Disco

Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce to you my segment on cinematography where I look a entertainment under a fine microscope, hope you enjoy.

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Cinematography is the science/art of film making, where by placing a chess set in the setting or making the camera do 180 tilt, implants ideas/concepts into the viewers mind.

Take this wall for example:

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This is from the classic movie: Do the right thing (A well-written movie about racial tension in da hood). A normal person might think “Oh, that wall is red”, but to the trained eye, could be “Oh, that wall is red which emphasizes how hot that summer was” and that was the case. My favourite teacher once told me that nothing you ever see in a film is an accident and is proven in that picture. The producers SPECIFICLY paint that wall red on purpose.

 

Here is another example of great cinematography:

 

Once again, the producers purposely positioned him where the light peering through the window to create the illusion that he was crying. This scene is a staple to cinematography classes because of how brilliantly the scene was conceived.

 

Now that I have finished my mini Cinematography lesson: sa, hajime mashouka (shall we start)?

 

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Platinum Disco is one out of the three songs that I enjoy listening to in the Monogatari Series and is incredibly intricate compared to the joyful tune. I forgot to mention, if you haven’t watched Bakemonogatari, the first in the series, I highly suggest you watch it as it is the number one best selling anime series of the 21st century and the only negative about the show is that certain people out there are prone to mature subject matter, but hopefully you’re not one of them. I would also suggest not watching past Nisemonogatari, the second in the series, as I think the entertainment value of the series decreases after Nisemonogatari. Unless you have totally became a fan of the series and think it’s the best anime ever, then that’s cool.

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Yeah.

 

Go watch it.

 

8/8 worth your time.

 

BACK ON TOPIC, the Monogatari series uses their opening songs as themes for the many characters found in the show and Platinum Disco is Tsukihi’s theme. As we find out in the show, Tsukihi is actually a “fake” sister and is actually a cuckoo. It might sound crazy, but if you have watched the show, you’ll understand and this is where I explain her theme song. Let’s start off with the question: What is a theme? It’s a song that represents the subject, whether it’s a character or a show. One aspect that Platinum Disco did to represent Tsukihi well, are the scenes with multiple instances of her.

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These scenes tie in the “fake” aspect from character. Another bonus from the image above is that Koiyomi (Tsukihi’s older brother) is in the shot which adds more complexity to the scene as he is also conflicted; You’ve just been told that your sister was fake… how do you deal with something like that?

 

 

 

 

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The song choice itself is another feature that links Platinum Disco to Tsukihi. Why did they pick such an upbeat and cheery song that contrasts Tsukihi’s deep story? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that ignorance is bliss and that applies here. Tsukihi is happy living her life the way it is, even though the cuckoo will always be lurking inside of her. This is emphasized as you can see the cuckoo in the opening visually, which would have no place in such a happy song if not for the context given through the character.

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Also now that I’ve analyzed the opening about five thousand times, I’ve notice how colour was used to reflect the connection as well. The darker colours represent the “bad side” and the lighter tones represent the “good side” which might weird, but stay with me. During the last seconds of the opening, we see the cuckoo in a nice, light blue colour, which is rather strange for its evil nature. Well I took it as a sign that Tsukihi and the cuckoo will always be one no matter how accepted or not accepted they are. The show poses that question too, on Koiyomi and he says “Araragi Tsukihi has always been my little sister, that has never been untrue”.

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Now you can see all the action right here, but before that here’s a list to remind yourself what you should for while watching the opening.

Also on a side note the song is in F-sharp major which make the song sound oriental.

  1. Multiple instances of Tsukihi
  2. Contrasting colours that represent good and evil
  3. Last scene of the opening

 

 

Yeah, that was my cinematography analysis and thanks for staying put for so long! I hope that you feel more intellectual about cinematography and that you may take notice of scenes that were produced beautifully.

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